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Goodman's Travels

Beppu Japan 2012

JAPAN | Thursday, 13 June 2013 | Views [1129]

Springs Beppu

Springs Beppu

We were lucky enough to have Miiko arrange our tickets from Hiroshima to Beppu by coach, prior to us leaving Oz. Again the coach from the main bus depot in Hiroshima was confortable and on time. After about 90 minutes of travelling south aling the highway, we made what we thought was an unscheduled stop at a dock. We arrived and sat for about 15 minutes, thinking we were waiting for other passengers. Then, the driver started the coach up and drove it into the bowels of a ferry the was docked about 100m away. We didn't know it but our coach trip from Hiroshma to Beppu was going to be coach/ferry/coach. It was a pleasant deviation for us, not having been on a bus in a ferry before. The Ferry arrivde on the other side of the bay about 90 minutes later and we set off for Beppu on road again. We arrive Beppu late afternoon and didn't have a clue how to get to the Resorpia Time Share which is perched high in the hills of Beppu. After a few minutes of broken conversation with one of the bus depot staff, he put us in a taxi, told the driver where to go and within 15 minutes we were there. Hotel Resorpia is a very nice Hotel overlooking Beppu. We had a small room with minimal inclusions but after our time in Hiroshima sleeping on the floor, the queen bed was a welcome site. The facilities of the hotel were quite good, especially the Onsens on the lower ground floor. One for women and one for men. An Onsen is a large communal bath. Beppu is renowned for its natural springs and people come from everywhere to go to them. A lot of people go to the general public Onsens that cater for mixed bathing. The bathing is of course - naked. The Onsens in our Hotel were not natural spring however they were the next best thing to it. On our second day we decided to try them. Its somewhat disconcerting, bathing naked with 12 other men in a very lage bath that is only 2ft deep. Wendy went into the ladies Onsen and tried to get in with her swimming costume on....she was abruptly told...get your gear off. Once we overcame our shyness, it became a daily, if not twice daily event to have an Onsen bath and think nothing of our modesty. Hotel Resporpia has a good restaurant which we only tried on one occassion. That night we decided to order the 'special' of the day. It turned out the main one was a soup with one very large fish head swimming in it, along with some noodles and onions etc. We enjoyed the meal but left hungry.

We explored Beppu as we do all the places we go. We were lucky in this instance in that the Hotel has a free shuttle to and from the CBD, so we were able to go into the main drag, work out a game plan for the day and the next day and plan accordingly. The was a very informative tourist booth at the main bus deput/railway station and we used them very well. Of course we walked the streets taking in the culture and marvelling at the Japanese way of life. Of course it is similar to ours but diffferent in so many ways. We especially liked the food. Allan liked the sashimi whereas Wendy preferred other delights. Our breakfasts were ones of innovation. We didn't feel like eating seawood and Miso for breakfast so we self catered in the room. The wasn't a kitchen so boiled eggs in the kettle, a little yoghurt and a cuppa was the order of then day.

We did a day tour of the hot spring that are littered throughout Buppu. Most are that hot you cannot touch them, some boil eggs on the spring and sell them, there are too many different ypes of springs for me to remember suffice to say they are very intersting and we had a splendid day visisting them. The next day we picked up a local bus that took us to Shifu. It is a little villiage in the mountains about 90 minutes by bus and it basically catered  for the tourist. The main attraction was the very fit lads that would Ricksaw you around for and hour for a small fortune. The town reminded us of Morpeth in the Hunter Valley where the locals sold their produce at inflated prices. Having said that, it was a great day outing and would reccomend it. Another outing in Beppu was a day of walking the streets to get a feel for the joint. Of course the walking was also part of our keep fit campaign ( which sometimes goes by then wayside when you are on holidays) We decided we wanted to go back to Osaka by Ferry. So we walked to the Ferry terminal and booked ourselves a cabin, which, for the price should have been the Presidential Suite but is was just a four berth cabin to ourselves with hard beds. The ferry was facinating. The nightlife was where Japanese girls same in English, the restaurant sold mass produced food and the locals drank beer until they fell asleep. We really enjoyed the ferry trip, it had everything. Entertainment, food, drink, drunks, great veiws leaving Beppu Harbour and similar view in the morning of Osaka Harbour.

On arrival in Osaka for the second time, we found the train station and made our way to a hotel somewhere in the city. It was The Hotel Chou but it wasn't an hotel it was actually a backpackers hostel which we like to do. Once we had established that we didn't want to sleep on the floor, we had a very good room with a comforatble bed, good wifi and the hostel services were very accomodating. On our second visit into Osaka we arrived for the first Tuesday in November so on the Sunday before, we started looking for somewhere to watch the race. There are two Aussie places in Osaka that we thought might have it. One was called Outback Steakhouse and the other was Captain Kangaroo. Hopeless the both of them. Neither opened before 6.00pm and they didn't close till early AM. We think they were actually nightclubs.  Hence we missed the race. On day 3 in Osaka we did a day trip by train up to Kyoto. It is a very user friendly place. We walked the streets, went through a Temple and the gardens, had a nice meal and returned home that night feeling weary. Kyoto is well worht a visit, a day trip is not enough.

Our trip had come to an end and we flew out of Osaka with many good memories of Japan.

I summation, we both liked Japan. It is user friendly, the people are tremendous and they will do anything for you. The way of life is fast, the culture is facinating and the transportation system is tremendous, albiet very expensive. We loved the food, the people and culture but we both agree, we won't make a special trip back to Japan. It lacks something (or at least we didn't find it). It lacks that something that would drag you back. In comparing Japan with other countries we have been we would go back to most other cou tries before Japan. We still have a lot of unfinished business in India, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tibet and then into Laos, Sikkim, Bhutan....


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